Glover Bros was established in the 1880's by Thomas Glover Waine, one of the sons of William Waine of the House of Waine. This large retail and manufacturing shop, founded in 1848, sold furniture and upholstery, carpets and drapery and everything for the home from premises in Newington Butts, near the Elephant & Castle. Glover Bros was set up as the wholesale arm of the business to supply uholsterers and furniture makers, later moving to the East End, then the home of furniture making.
The company's Pocket Price List, known as the upholsterer's bible, listed some 130 items from Axminster carpets to varnishes, Utrecht Velvets to rubber nosings, all-wool blankets to gimp pins (gimp pins have stayed the course). By 1936, 30,000 of these copyright lists were being distributed to upholsterers every spring and autumn . The brief history we have of the House of Waine paints a delightful picture of Victorian values of exemplary service and honest toil. The policy of the founder was crystallised in TG Waine's definition of a customer:-
A customer is the most important person in our premises - in person or by letter.
Customers are not dependent on us-we are dependent on them.
A customer is not an interruption to our work- he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.
A customer is not an outsider to our business. He is part of it.
The House of Waine celebrated its 100th year in 1948 but the retail shop, bombed during the war, did not continue for long after that. Glover Bros, continued to operate in London until 1981 when its Redchurch Street premises closed and a relative reopened in Devon. In 1985 it transferred to Somerset, Des and Val Fanning took over in 1989 and the company was incorporated in 2001, 102 years after it was first founded. New, purpose built premises next to the West Somerset Railway station at Bishops Lydeard completed the journey from London's East End into the 21st century.
In 2010 the company saw a change at the top due to the retirement of the Fannings after 21 years. The new owners are Charles and Helen Petri who are preparing to take the business forward into the next decade.
We still follow TG Waine's advice about our customers.
And our price list now includes over 2000 items.